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Friday, November 22, 2013

The Weekly Roundup: Brooklyn Babka, Restaurant Week, Wine Trends

  • 10 Recent New York City Super Flops: Some restaurants stick around for a year, others just a few months, and some are only open for a matter of days. Here's a list of 10 recent blink-and-you-missed-them Super Flop restaurants.
  • Brooklyn bar’s rule: Must be 25 to drink: A Brooklyn bar owner is serving up a giant buzzkill, refusing to serve anyone under the age of 25 because he thinks it will keep his neighbors from filing so many noise complaints. The policy — which appears to violate the city’s discrimination laws — is strictly enforced after 10 p.m. at Phil’s Crummy Corner in Red Hook.
  • Seaport plans met with salty reception: The controversial plan to redevelop the South Street Seaport, which includes an expansion of Manhattan's footprint into the East River, met resistance at its first public presentation.
  • Restaurant Week intercepted by Super Bowl: The popular New York promotion will delay its winter 2014 schedule until after the big game on Feb 2nd. The new date, starting on Feb. 17 through March 7, is also one week shorter than previous years.
  • In Wine Drinking, Europe and America Trade Places: A recent article in Newsweek bemoaned that Italians, particularly younger Italians, are drinking less wine today than they did five years ago. Fifty Among the historic wine cultures, Italy is not alone. Earlier this year, a BBC News article highlighted the decline of wine consumption in France. The Spanish, too, are drinking a lot less. Meanwhile, the United States consumes more wine than any other country.
  • Babka Barons: The One Bakery That Supplies New York’s Finest Loaves: Recently, a friend and I were debating whether Russ & Daughters or Dean & DeLuca has the city's best babka. After a little digging, we reached a curious conclusion: They sell the exact same product. As it turns out, both shops, and plenty of other places, are supplied by Green's, a small, family-owned company based in Williamsburg that also creates custom packaging so that retail outlets can pass off the babka as their own recipe.


  • Records Are Dying? Not Here: When it opens on Monday, Rough Trade NYC — a branch of the London shop that has been an independent tastemaker since 1976 — will be the biggest record store in New York City, an ambitious bet on CDs and vinyl at a time when thousands of other music retailers have closed, and the music industry over all looks to a largely digital future.

  • New York in the 'Swinging sixties': Beautiful pictures capture New York City in a period of historic transition: New York City in the 1960s, where hippies in Greenwich Village avoided the squares uptown and baby boomers worried about the war on the horizon. Photographer James Jowers walked the streets of Manhattan capturing immigrants dancing in the streets downtown while throngs of World War II veterans streamed into their Midtown offices.

  • Soft Hearts and Bloody Tongues: A while back, I went down to New York City to visit Jake Dickson at his butcher shop, Dickson's Farmstand Meats in Chelsea Market, where about half of the pigs I raise end up. Since I was interested in checking out the quality while I was at the shop, Jake thought, and I agreed, that the best way for me to do that would be for me to handle the pork directly, so I donned a white shirt and apron, hung a hand towel over my apron string, and went to work helping to break down the seven pigs I had dropped off that week into primal cuts -- loin, leg, belly, shoulder.

  • Gotham West Market, Where All Your Dreams Come True: Here's a thorough look around Gotham West Market, the gleaming new food hall that opened its doors today in Hell's Kitchen. Inside is an all-star lineup of vendors, ranging from Court Street Grocers to Ivan Ramen. Caroline Fidanza is serving soup, salad, and sandwiches at Little Chef, an offshoot of her beloved Saltie, while across the way is El Colmado, a tapas bar from Tertulia's Seamus Mullen. There's also another bar from The Cannibal, a burger joint from the AvroKo design team, plus outposts of Blue Bottle Coffee and the Brooklyn Kitchen.
  • Paulaner beer taps the Bowery: Old-style brewpub brings a taste of Germany. This week, Paulaner Bräuhaus NYC opens on the Bowery, but don't expect an oompah band at this German microbrewery owned by Rudolf Tauscher, the former general manager of the five-star Mandarin Oriental New York hotel.  The 375-year-old Paulaner provided all the beer-making equipment in the restaurant—an approximately $500,000 value.


  • Chinatown: the next front in the gentrification war: There will always be a little corner of the American public imagination reserved for Chinatown. Whether the word evokes for you the stereotypical mystique of opium dens and gambling halls, or the gritty restaurants and garment factories that fueled generations of working-class immigrant families, Chinatown, as a cultural idea, seems to endure through the generations as a place of wonder, chaos, and cultural hybridity. But the real, brick-and-mortar Chinatown is vanishing rapidly, as its people, traditions and cultural life are swept away by what some call "development".


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